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DECEMBER 16. 201 1

Notore's fel tiliser template and future of agric OR Ihc management o J Nolore Chemical Companies Limited. owners and operators or Ihe Onne. Rivers State-baHd fertiliser complex. it was a chesl.buting lime penult.mare Tuesday, as II proudly showed a consortium of bankelS aile financiers of il5 gigantic rehllbllitation project round the c'Jmpleted works on lhe complex. The oeca ;10n was mean! to achieve two pu rposes. In the first instant.!. it was to anno unce the end o f a three-yearlong miens Vii' TehllbilftatlOn works on Ihe old National F;.>rhliH!1 C')mpany of Nigeria . which was bought over by Metoll' n 2005 came out of the new management's impOnQ nl ed to reposition hn adequah! and 2ffechvi! 5Lpply of i )organic fertil ise r throughout the nooks and nann ies 0 1 Nigeria. Again. the visit by the financiers afforded Ih ' m the opportunity to assess how far the funds glvel1 OUl I! , the compan~' had ':leen used Re'Jamp ng the old NAFCON complex, according 10 the fn ull of th, due diligence don'l on the company. showed that tloh.; r, needed enormous capital and three years \0 rehebihtate the o ve rgrown complex. Tho! rna lagement sub;;equenlly used the auspicious occasion o j Ihe facility tour to Clnnounce the complelion of the ,e habl ta lion . which cosl S·600m Of the sum . $400m was SOU ' CI d from a consortium of Nigerian banks (as loanst. while about $200m came from shareholder funds . Some of tlte local bankers are Arst Bank of Nige ria P1c. FCMI3 Pic. Main5treClm Bank, UBA Pic, among NAFCON bank5 Ostensit,!y. the bankers' v1sil had been neassilated by a debt restructuring programme initiated by Notore , In respert of the bank loans As a result of their positive Impression of the executed jobs on the site and Ihe company'! productive capacity. it was quite easy for the manageml'nl of the ferlilise r company to present anothe r demand blfore the bankers· thai the S400m loan should be restruchl red In a " 'ay tha t would affo rd II a more nexible repaymenl system Noto re is an agro-allied and chemICal company owned by a cor sorlium of private and foreign inslitutional investors. It was established in August 2005 after the acquisition of the liquidated assets of Na tional Fertiliser Compar,y of Nigeria by the Bureau of Pu blic Ente rprises. In 2008. he com~ny began an extensIve rehabilitation of the fer .iHser plan t. Upon completion of the project, it commennd production of ammonia and urea in January and July :!009, respectively. Currenlly. Ihe NOlore fertiliser planl is the only urea fertiliser I=lant in Sub·Saharlin Africa. thus positioning it to become .t,hica's major £e rtillser supplier. To the management of the company, the curenl stale of the co·nplex was a fulfillment of II d ream. ~T his is the total amount of fu nding Notore has done 10 achieve what we have achieved today," the Managing Director of the compan~' Mr. Onajile Koloko, to ld the ban k executives

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The recent completion of a three-year rehabilitation work on the nation's foremost fertiliser producing company in Nige ria, Notore Chemical Companies Limited, effectively Signalled an end to fertiliser importation in the country. LAYI ADELOYE writes on the prospects of the vision and its benefits for the agricultural sector of the economy. alter the tour and a closed doors session , which he described as ve ry fruitful. Accordmg to Koloko. the company now o perates 90 per cent of Its insllllled capacity, with wide opportunities for breakthrough On the compllny's operations and prospects, he said the company now hlls a new area of competllive lIdvantlige in NPj< \phosphate) production. wh ICh about N1.2bn injection could make its operations to starl nying. The new plant ,s the phase two of Ihe project. which is expected to go into (uti operation In the Orsl qua rter of 2012. The financiers. led by Mr. Bolaji &Jogun. the Managing Director of FCMB Pte, were full of commendalions for the mllnagement on the extent of work done and the height of operations attained. Baiogun said the banks 5lIW enough on ground 10 prove that the company was focused on achievement and dedicated to success. He added that Notore's conlribution to ag riculture in Nigeria in Ihe last few yeaTS had shown the management's dedicatio n to achieving success in the a rea of food security in the country, -Agriculture has immense potential for the growth of the na tion's Gross Domestic Product and olher economic growth indices. In te rms of job creation. the sector offers the best solution to unemploymenl. This is the reason " 'e con5ider our partnershi p wi th Notore as a valued one. We have seen how they have put Ihe money borrowed into operation. Indeed, il Is a company full of potential , opportu ni ties and prospects." he said. On Noto re's fert!lise r mll rket share in Nigeria, Koloko said, "Notore account fOI 100 percent of the urea marke t because most of Ihe big importe rs of urea no longer Import urea . In terms of NPK, you can see Ihat ou r NPK plant has just been commissIoned and we should start producing NPK for the next planting season. Based on that. we do hllve a sileable market share. "Now that we are out of the project finance stage of our plans. and WI have a major Slrategic partner in Teta Chemicals. we wiD now concentra te our activities of expanding our ma rket and volumes. The Nige rian fertiliser market can easily grow two to th ree folds very quickly if good qua li ty fertilisers lire made lIvaitable to the farmers as and when it is required. ~""'e are empowering Nigerian farmers with the right education and Inputs (fert ilisers and Improved seeds) to

enable them produce higher crop yields per hectare than they prevIously did.' - By making ferllii5er more available to rarmers. Notore is helping to reduce hunger and IIlCTe"se food security on the continent. With the coming of Notore. the Afncan Green Revolution has truly begun ,He said Nolore reuntly achieved the highest urea and ammonia production of 1.3 million me tric tonnes 893 metric tonnes. respectively. in November this year. After the successful completion of the scheduled lurnaround maintenance In August and September. a said Ihe plant experienced improved performance, stressing the company would work hard to improve and sustain the re cords, Forbes. In its Novemeber 2011 profile on Notore. described the company as a pioneering Nigerian fertilisel company - that is boosting Africa's farm yields and wOlking "ssiduously towards accelerating the continent's green revolution ~ It said. ~Somel i me after midnight on Monday. October 31 . the wo rld populatIon will hit Ihe seven billion mark for the first lime. according to information made available by Ihe United Nations Population Fund Much of this popUlation growth is expected to come from high fertility countries, 39 of which are in Africa One peltinent question is, how is Africa going to feed the millions yet unborn? "If African agricultural yields could be raised to Eu ropean levels. it would be po"ible for the continent to provide at least SO per cent more food than it currentl y doe.s. Bul il takes fertlllzer to make Ihis happen." On the im port of the compan y's opera lions on food 5uHiciency, It said, ~Currenlly, Notore Chemical Industries. II S400m (revenues) Nigerian company backed by private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners, is the o nly producer of urea fe rtilizer In Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa. Urea is a by·product of the oil and gas industry, which a longside agricultU re is Nigeria 's other major indust ry. By making fe r[[l iter more accessible 10 fa rmers through it.s supp ly chain and pricing, No tore is helping 10 stimulate the local production of foods such as rice lind sugar. Increasing seU.sufflciency and reducing the continent's dependence on imports. And it is some dependence: last year alone. African countries spent ove, S30bn importing food , ~


THE PUNCH, 16 DECEMBER, 2011